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10 Simple Habits You Didn’t Know Can Help You Live Without Anxiety

10 Simple Habits You Didn’t Know Can Help You Live Without Anxiety

Life can be stressful—juggling family, friends, your career, and the daily grind of bill paying and errand-running. Don’t get overwhelmed! You don’t have to turn to therapy and medication. Instead of letting life give you panic attacks, try these ten simple habits that can help you live without anxiety.

1. Create boring routines.

If you’re doing the same thing, day after day, then you don’t have to worry about an unknown variable throwing off your entire day. Have a certain way you drive to work every morning, and go home the same way each afternoon. Work out a routine for your work day that ensures you get everything done without feeling pressed for time. Check your email first thing, work on projects right after lunch when your energy levels are high. Knowing what’s coming up in your day will reduce your anxiety about the unknown.

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2. Write down your thoughts.

Keep a journal. It might sound juvenile or time-consuming, but it helps! Writing down your thoughts gets them out of your head; you might feel more relaxed if you have them written down, but don’t have to think about them as often. Seeing them on paper might also help you work through them more logically than when they’re bumping around in your mind.

3. Study your anxiety.

When you feel anxious, stop and think about what is making you feel that way and why. Learning what sets off your anxiety can help you gain control of it in the future, and possibly even figure out how to prevent it! If you always feel anxious when you have a stressful deadline at work, you’ll know to ask your boss for an extension, or to start the project earlier. There are ways to combat and control your anxiety, once you know its source.

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4. Accept the discomfort.

When you start feeling anxious, accept it! No one likes feeling uncomfortable, but if you stop getting frustrated at the sensation, then you can help control your anxiety. The discomfort of an anxiety attack often feels so overwhelming that it leads to more and more panic, prolonging the attack unnecessarily. Accept your feelings and see how it helps you keep your anxiety under control.

5. Exercise daily.

Physical exercise greatly helps combat feelings of anxiety and depression. Instead of moping around the house, letting your thoughts control your emotions, get active! Join a gym and make up a workout routine. Run around your neighborhood. Do stretches, crunches, lift weights! Keeping your body active will keep your mind occupied, and as an added bonus, it will wear you out so you’ll fall asleep easily, without tossing and turning while anxious thoughts take over your brain.

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6. Take time to relax.

It sounds like the opposite of exercising, right? Work hard, play hard! Trying to pack your day too full is one way to find yourself overcome by anxiety. Don’t be afraid to say no to certain people or events in order to keep time for yourself. When you relax, relax completely. Don’t watch TV or stay connected to your phone. Let your mind go blank and let your body go limp and see how refreshed you feel when you get up.

7. Distract yourself.

Your mind is too good at imagining the worst that could happen in any situation, and worrying about that before it even happens. When you start to feel anxious, your brain latches onto this feeling and won’t let go until you’re having a full blown attack. You have to take control and distract your own mind. Do logic puzzles, math problems, or say the alphabet backwards. These seem like simple solutions, but the problems themselves are complex enough to consume your brain and let all the anxiety float away.

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8. Stop drinking caffeine.

It’s hard, I know! In fact, trying to stop drinking caffeine might be enough to distract yourself, as the last tip recommended! But caffeine is a stimulant, and consuming copious amounts will amp you up and keep you from sleeping. Caffeine is known to improve your alertness, concentration, and memory, but too much, or if you’re already inclined to anxiety, then these positive factors quickly turn into a pounding heart, inability to focus, and the jitters. Cutting caffeine will mean you’re cutting something that more than likely helps bring on anxiety attacks.

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    9. Stimulate positive thinking.

    Even if you feel down in the dumps and it seems impossible, make yourself think positive! Anxiety can’t last forever, and stress will fade away before long. Push yourself to turn every situation that’s bothering you into something positive. Tell yourself that your anxiety is unfounded, and will pass before you know it.

    10. Have a support group.

    This doesn’t mean you have to enroll in group therapy—it just means having a group of people you can talk to and rely on. It’s important to be able to be honest with others, so make sure your circle is full of people you trust. You’ll feel better if you can share your feelings, and you’ll get better feedback and advice.

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    Last Updated on August 12, 2019

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark Chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko Biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and Black Tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    More About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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